MEEC School Garden Mini Grant Project Takes Root!
“A Garden in Every School” is an exciting MEEC program now in its third year. Based on studies that found 77 percent of students in environment-based education scored higher than their peers across all standardized tests and had higher grade point averages. Assembly Bill 1535 authorized the California Department of Education to award 15 million dollars for grants to promote, develop, and sustain school gardens. Sadly, this program was one of the first budget cuts made to education. But through a generous grant sponsored by MEEC partner “Alliance for Water Awareness and Conservation” (AWAC), schools may apply for a grant for “seed” money to provide them with basic tools necessary to start a school garden. MEEC will begin accepting proposals in May of this year for school garden projects. Teachers must submit a letter (one or two pages maximum) describing the proposed project and/or desired materials, and how the project will address educational standards. The application letter must also contain a timeline for implementation and a budget cost breakout based on the applicant’s research of actual material costs, including shipping and handling, if applicable. Labor costs are not eligible for funding. Projects must be implemented/materials must be utilized in schools located in the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County (within the Mojave Water Agency’s boundaries). Winners will be notified and grants will be awarded in August of this year.
This generous grant funding is provided by MEEC’s partner, the Alliance for Water Awareness and Conservation (AWAC), a coalition of more than 27 cities and agencies whose mission is to promote the efficient use of water, and to increase awareness of conservation as an important way to ensure an adequate water supply. For more information about AWAC, please visit their website at “AWAC”. Individual award amounts to be determined by MEEC’s Executive Board. Only one grant will be awarded per school per school year.
All school garden grant recipients are required to attend a half-day workshop (TBA) that will provide guides to help link state standards to the school gardens, share the limitless possibilities of a school garden, discuss unique and fun garden designs, and answer gardening and irrigation questions. Christie Robinson, MEEC Program Specialist, is also a certified Master Gardener and will be able to provide answers to technical questions and work one-on-one with the teachers during the workshop.
Application deadline is June 30, 2011. Proposals may be mailed to MEEC/Garden Grants, 14306 Park Avenue, Victorville, CA 92392 or faxed to (760) 241-6271. For questions, contact MEEC Program Specialist Christie Robinson at (760) 245-1661 ext. 6101 or visit www.meeconline.com today!